As a search marketer, do you ever struggle with finding content to blog about? You don’t want to write a story that a million others have already talked about, so where do you start? My theory is that if there are people looking for answers over the web, answer them! Whether the topic has been blogged about already or not, if people are having trouble finding what they need to know, then maybe the topic isn’t as discussed as you had assumed (that, or the people asking the questions just don’t know how to perform a proper search).
Do this by writing a blog response to their question and then directing them to your blog post. This answers their question and gives your blog more visibility at the same time. However, where do you find these questions and, once found, how do you go about answering these questions in a professional and efficient manner so that it doesn’t appear spammy in any way?
Let’s start by looking at where to search for these questions. I’m going to focus on two main sites: LinkedIn and Yahoo! Answers. Both sites are popular locations where any question can be asked within different fields of work. For search marketers, there are SEO categories within these sites. Specifically, with LinkedIn, there is a “Search Marketing” category and with Yahoo! Answers, there is a “Search Engine Optimization” category. Both of these respective pages show the most recent “open” questions, which means that the best answer to the question has not been chosen yet. Here’s where the opportunity awaits to show your skills.
The next step is to choose an important question to answer. Don’t answer a super broad and elementary question, such as, “What is SEO?” This isn’t worth spending the time answering or blogging about. Find something that is more relevant to recent developments in a specific category of search. Once you’ve found your question, write a quick blog post about it. Make sure that it is a general post, not a post that is specific to a single individual. Also, make sure that you are writing about something that would normally be found on your blog, anyway. Basically, don’t blog about something that 95% of your readers already know the answer to.
After your post is written and published, return to the unanswered question and answer it, giving a short summary of what your post entails, and then give the questioner the link to your blog for a more detailed answer to their question. This strategy will ensure at least one extra reader to your post and if it is a popular question, many others will inevitably end up stumbling upon your post, as well.
This strategy has been around for a while now, but it isn’t widely used. However, it can be beneficial to all search marketers as a way to gain new blog ideas and as a way to spread word about your blog. Just don’t go around posting links to your blog all over the place; be tactful about it. Only link a specific post to a specific question that it correlates to. Now start searching, blogging, and answering!